The Church of England is facing the loss of as many as one in ten paid clergy in the next five years and internal documents seen by The Times admit that the traditional model of a vicar in every parish is over.
The credit crunch and a pension funding crisis have left dioceses facing massive restructuring programmes. Church statistics show that between 2000 and 2013 stipendiary or paid clergy numbers will have fallen by nearly a quarter…
Jobs will instead be filled by unpaid part-timers, giving rise to fears about the quality of parish ministry. Combined with a big reduction in churchgoing, the figures will add weight to the campaign for disestablishment…
About one in sixty people worships with the Church of England on an average Sunday. This is projected to drop to less than one in 600 by 2050. The average age of a British Anglican worshipper was 37 in 1980, but is expected to rise to 67 by 2050.
Terry Sanderson, of the National Secular Society, said: “Such numbers remove the last vestige of justification for the Church’s establishment. It is no longer representative of the nation and will become progressively less able to fulfil its claimed nationwide service.
“Establishment gives bishops significant power and this is simply illegitimate and undemocratic. It is quite clear that the Church of England is, to all extents and purposes, finished.”
I hope churches in the United States catch up to their role model across the pond. I’d hate to see a crumbling church-gap for the whole world to see.